73.361 (2128) Double Square-spot Xestia triangulum (Hufnagel, 1766)

Status
Resident. Common.
 
Flight period
J F M A M J J A S O N D























 
History
Gordon (1913) stated this species to be generally scarce, but came to sugar in woods at Corsemalzie. He had found it plentiful in the larval state on alder when it was feeding by night late April. Earliest date was 25th June 1897. Sir Arthur Duncan (1909-84) during his lifetime had found it at Closeburn, Tynron and Castlehill, Dumfries (all VC72).
 
During 1974-89 six of the seven Rothamsted stations managed to record it, Caerlaverock being the odd one out. In the Laurieston/Hensol Estate area it came to the trap regularly during the early 1980s.
 
The regular trapped sites at Kirkton and Durisdeer (VC72), Cally Woods and Mersehead RSPB (VC73) produced many records of this, one of our commonest noctuids. It has also been found at a wide scattering of other sites across the region.
 
Life cycle
One generation. Overwinters as a larva, during August to May, feeding by night and hiding in the day. Pupates underground.
 
Larval foodplants
A wide variety of herbaceous plants including Primrose, Buttercups and Cow Parsley, while in the spring it prefers woody species like Blackthorn and hawthorns.
 
Identification
Very similar to Triple-spotted Clay but the grey hindwing with a whitish or grey fringe and a paler greyish colour of the forewing should identify the Double Square-spot.
 
Habitat
Decidous woodland as well as lush riverbanks in open country. Also found in gardens.
© Keith Naylor, Wood of Cree RSPB, 19 June 2004

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Distribution map displays records from the National Biodiversity Network (See terms and conditions).

The following datasets are included:

  • Butterfly Conservation - Macro-moth provisional distribution for the British Isles (excluding the Republic of Ireland) from the National Moth Recording Scheme
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